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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  October 17, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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funding for charlie rose was provided by the following captioning sponsored by rose communications
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>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> it is time to do the nation building right -- right home. that future is out there and waiting for us. >> tonight the special edition of charlie rose. >> rose: welcome to our program. we are live this evening from new york city, hofstra university in washington, d.c. president obama and governor romney clashed in the second of three debates before election kay on november 6th, intense pressure on both candidates but especially the president. his poor showing in the first debate shifted the momentum of the race. the a gallup poll earlier today put governor romney ahead 50 to 46 nationally, the campaigns have been focusing closely on a select few battleground states, including florida, ohio and virginia, tonight the candidates
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engage in a stir irs of heated exchanges on stage, joining me in new york, jon meacham, the author of the forthcoming book thomas jefferson, and mark halperin of time magazine and john heilemann of time magazine. >> albert hunt, executive editor of bloomberg news and david leonhardt the bureau chief of "the new york times", joining us shortly from washington, katty kay of bbc world news of america, and slate magazine, we have a really fascinating group of people here to talk about what was a remarkable debate. i begin first with al hunt. >> charlie, if the barack obama who was on stage at hofstra had showed up in denver two weeks ago, he might have put this race away. i don't think mitt romney did poorly tonight, i thought he actually did, you know, fairly well but barack obama was the ago press sorry. he set the agenda. he did everything he failed to do in deb very, denver, both in
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defending his record and in challenging some of governor romney's inconsistencies. my guess is that he let romney back in two weeks ago and this won't change, this is a very, very tight race and there was hemorrhaging, all indications were really that this was continuing that he probably stopped that this evening with a very impressive performance. >> david leonhardt. >> i agree with that, i mean governor romney is a fabulous debator and we saw that for much of tonight he had a few bad night, the factual issue around libya was a bad moment for him and obama was vastly different than last time, he was much more aggressive and less stammering from obama earlier in 2008 when hillary clinton was consistently beating him in their early debates. >> i agree with al, absolutely, obama if you look across the polls probably had a four-point lead heading into the first debate across all of the polls, probably a one point lead heading into this debate, if, it is not over, everything about the economy and everything else suggests we are going to have a
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very close race but i was on your show two weeks ago and i thought romney easily won the first debate and i think, i would say obama significantly won this one not by the same margin, but significantly. >> rose: jon meacham. >> i don't know that i agree with the adjective or the adverb significantly. i think that the denver race, the denver debate transformed the race, i don't think this transformed it. and i think it has kept governor romney in the hunt and was, i think closer to a draw, at least to my ear closer to a draw on substance, i thought romney's gave about three, i think, stump speeches, the same sort all the way through and i think that mental probably came through. >> rose: let me see where -- mark halperin, can you hear me? >> mark halperin. >> yes, charlie. >> rose: go ahead. give us your assessment. >> yes, i do. i don't think anyone could say governor romney won this debate for two reasons, one is he completely lost the winning style that he had in denver.
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his answer on libya was the closest thing to a moment and a horribly weak moment i think the debate had and as president i think that got inside his head and rattled him which was his plan on making governor romney's personal finances and the connection with his personal finances and his economic positions something that voters would have heard. on the other hand, if the president had two goals tonight, one was to get inside romney's head to be aggressive and talk about what he would do in a second term and i think -- i listened pretty closely, didn't talk anything about what he would do, it is all about taking down governor romney, i think the president won, i think to the extent that winning a debate and the coverage that will get will stabilize things for him, i think it is a great night for him. but i am not sure it does anything but key up the third debate to give both of them another chance to break the tie. >> rose: john heilemann. >> charlie, i think the story
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coming out of this debate to say you, to say kind of what al hunt started out with i think will be the president battles back, and, you know, he clearly was, i thought on some really key issues where he was completely lame two weeks ago he was very strong and very clear. he scored some pretty direct hits on the question of governor romney's tax plan. he focused pretty intently on some demographic groups that really matter to the obama campaign. he focused on with his answers on planned parenthood, his answers on zero other the women's issues and flaind a focused way on those issues and scored some points on the issues surrounding immigration, where his support and enthusiasm of his large lead with the hispanic community matters a lot in terms of winning key battle ground states and in keeping with the electorial map. i think both of them, what was most striking to me about the whole thing was the industries value distaste they both had for
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each other. there were moments where it was primal and looked at times they would actually go after each other physically on the stage, and that gave the whole thing an incrediincredibly raw and kind f compelling quality for most of it and i agree the last thingly say i agree with mark very much, the worst hand that the administration and the president obama have to play in this debate was on benghazi, and because particularly of candy crowley's follow-up on that question it allowed barack obama to win an exchange which i didn't think it was possible for him to win. >> rose: chuck todd? >> well, everything has been said, not everybody said it a couple of little body language tells by the way. right after the first debate, the president left the stage first after it was over, mitt romney lingered, waved to the crowd, shook hands, you could tell he felt good. well guess what happened after this debate? the president only just left now, he just lingered for almost 25 minutes, posing with pictures with all of these folks, mitt romney is the one who left first so i kind of
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think sometimes body language, we talked about it during the debate, the post debate i think you can tell which candidate feels good and which doesn't feel good. i think there are a couple of things here, romney had some i would say missed a lot more opportunities, the president had a plan, he executed it and with mark halperin he clearly got in the mitt romney's head, romney was a different guy after the libya stumble and again, the romney folks believe th the fact checkers will tank their side but mitt romney couldn't make the argument. it is sort of the same issue president obama had in that first debate. but i thought that one of the big misses for mitt romney we are not talking about now and that we would have been talking about if not for the libya moment was what i thought was a miss on the bush question, right? he gets the question that i think is this sort of lingering question out there with some swing voters, particularly say in the upper midwest, the ohio, iowa, portion of this -- of these battleground states and yet it was, hey, i am going to be tougher on china, i
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am going to be more free trade, he didn't seem to have a solid answer of what makes me different than bush and then the president in there clearly was ready with his talking points. i will tell yo tell you how he s different from bush, hits him on medicare and on immigration. so it was almost a reverse of here you have the president with a plan and he executed it tonight, mitt went in there thinking hey it is up to the president, it is almost seethe, ceding turf at different moments which i thought was ahead scratcher considering how well prepared he was in that first debate charlie. >> back in a moment, john dickerson. >> well, charlie, i think, you know, there was -- you wondered at one point if there was a part in the memorandum of understanding how they were going to run this debate at one point they could all take it outside because they got awfully close and rough with each other there. i thought that, you know, the president had to stop his slide and he did. he not only defined mitt romney, when i was talking to an obama
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advisor in ohio and asked what do you want to hear in the next debate they said outsourcing and autos and offshore. >> obama in his second answer hit all of those and talked at the end about the 47 percent video, smart to do it at the end when governor romney couldn't respond to it. although romney had responded sort of prebutted it in the previous answer. he also tied governor romney to the republicans in congress, he had that sort of rhetorical moment when he kept saying this is what they wanted in the republican congress and mitt romney signed up for all of it so he was not only -- he was on offense but as mark said, there was not a lot, he tried to talk about his various plans and manufacturing and education, but when that african-american gentleman asked him, you know, i voted -- i voted for you and asked him to make the case for his presidency, it just didn't feel like that guy could take something home in his pocket and say this is what the next four years are going to be about. so that was a bit of a whiff for
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the president in a way. >> rose: all right. for all of you, this is a question that was on my mind as we went into this debate. there was some momentum for romney, if there was, would a tie or even an obama victory as it was somewhere inbetween that, would it slow romney down in his ability to seem more of a moderate and his ability to appeal more to the center? was that impeded by this debate? chuck? >> yes. i think it did slow him down, i think there was a chance here for mitt romney to, had he had a great night, appeal to suburban women, sort of the last remaining swing vote up there that is sticking with the president there, i think it could have been a big night, i think that considering the tone of this debate, i actually think, i wonder if suburban women were turned off by both of their alpha dog moments, right? it was just -- i love heilemann's description here, it was raw and intense and i have a
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feeling that it was one of those that these last remaining swing voters, charlie, they don't like this tone, and, you know, what is amazing here, we have had a lot of presidential candidates that run against each other that haven't liked each other but usually don't let it show. it is not that these guys don't like each other. i don't think they respect each other and that is what comes through and i wonder if that turns off that slice of swing voters voter here that they both need to get over the top. >> rose: because they are looking for bipartisan ship and looking for somebody who can heal the breach and eliminate the dysfunction in washington. >> and neither one looked like that guy tonight. >> rose: al hunt, back to you. the sense that libya did something to mitt romney tonight, is that the headline here, he is seen not to know his facts? >> oh, i don't think that is the headline, i agree with what chuck or john said earlier, that was the issue that was the great opportunity. >> rose: right. >> for romney, that's a losing hand for obama so i think he
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blew it. >> by the way i think obama blew one thing on the bush answer, obama didn't tie himself to clinton which usually helps and i am surprised he passed up that opportunity. that was one of the few opportunities he passed up, what this debate was, was the exact opposite of denver, the agenda was set by barack obama. it was fought on his turf. i agree he didn't talk a great deal about what he was going to do but romney was on the offensive that's the exact opposite in denver and some of the particulars mentioned earlier, women and immigration and the auto bailout, setting this agenda do i think it transforms the election, of course not but we are playing to a very small group of per jailedables and if there is any movement which i think there clearly was to romney in that group my guess is it has stopped, it hasn't moved back to obama but stopped. >> rose: so it keyed keys it up -- go ahead. >> one of the interesting things is, al talks about this small group of remaining undecided voters, these are what people
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call low information voters, they are not reading massive number of position papers and looking at different studies and the first debate obama kept citing experts and studies and mackenzie and all of these different places and i don't know that really appealed to these voters and what you saw them shift back to in this debate is something they did in the preceding months is don't so much get into a policy argument although they did some of that, make this in part about who romney is, so the way they really criticized romney's tax plan was not by talking about studies and experts but by talking about romney's tax rate, and that is going right after those remaining undecided voters that al is talking about. >> rose: katty kay, thank you for joining us. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: we pretty much have here a number of people who thought obama won and think it might have stopped what slide there might have been certainly among his supporters and programs from other people who were leaning towards romney, what was the high lying -- highlight for you? >> you know,, watching it as
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inevitably you do nowadays with twitter on one side and facebook on the other, i was really struck by the reaction of women during the course of this debate and my twitter feed went kind of ballistic with women keeping on tweeting in, a saying that they felt that mitt romney in his answers to that question amount equal pay had somehow been con descending to women, old-fashioned, one mentioned mad men, there was something of a don draper about all of this .. that may have been something they liked or did not like i am not sure but it is clearly something women were not happy with what they saw in that answer on women in the work force, the binder full of women was something that kept getting picked up on and it was the way he talked about it that seemed slightly out of touch with where women are in the work force today and i think that for me that -- it is the slide over the last few days in the polls has been away from obama, because he
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has been losing support amongst women then i think what mitt romney did, the way he talked about women in the work force during the course of this debate may almost certainly have stopped some of that slide or could well have stopped some of that slide and wonder whether that is an area we are not going to see the polls reversing back towards barack obama. >> rose: i want anybody who has anything to say jump in here and as we bounce the ball around. but, david, any factual conflicts here that will not bear scrutiny tomorrow morning? >> i think we will see sort of little things and i think we will see journalists go through it and pull out little things, but i think the real, the huge meat of the factual discussion is going to be about benghazi and the fact is, several guests have said, obama is vulnerable on this. the administration has not handled this particularly well, there are a lot of outstanding questions about whether the administration did enough to protect these diplomats, but romney made what was a very clear minor but clear factual
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misstep, and i think that is going to get the attention. >> and he can't simply -- he can't get out of that by simply talking about choice of language and the fact that they still later seemed to be talking about the fact that they didn't know and they weren't sure yet? >> well, romney had a very strong answer available to him, but he didn't use it, and by making such a big point out of this phrase acts of terror they are now going to be left in a position of parsing the president's statement while he did use the phrase act of terror he didn't specifically say this was an act of terror, and that strikes me as a fairly difficult argument for them to make. >> rose: jon. >> i thought one of the more effective parts of that was obama's clear passion, you could see it in his face, and he was liken difficult after the bay of pigs he said i am the responsible officer of the government, and was standing up and i think people in the end always appreciated when a president says the buck stops
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here. no matter what the details are. >> rose: back, chuck, to the style issue. was governor romney too strident? was he too demanding time? does that have a play? >> look, i thought that -- i thought that there was -- there was a moment where you felt like, was he a little too strident with the president? did it come across as rude? you know, i think, i am guessing romney part stance are saying stick it to the president and the president supporters are saying boy that seems way off-key, guy back, i think both of them carried themselves a little too stridently and wonder if it turned off tone naturally some tonally that are burned out in the polarization .. blue is perverse good news on romney on the libya topic, i think the increased coverage of it will still cause questions, the president didn't answer why was the film being used to still
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part of the blame of what happened in benghazi, number one and the third debate is foreign policy, so romney has an opportunity to clean up, frankly his mess in the next debate since that is the topic area and my guess is we know what the first 15 minutes of the next debate is going to be, it is going to be on a back-and-forth on libya. >> rose: yes, katty. >> just what you are raising there on the style point when the two were really going at each other and accusing each other of lying and taking each other's time and i don't like to bang on about women voters but that was another moment where i think women voters in particular would look at that and think my god, these two men who are running for president of the united states, frankly are behaving like my sons do on a bad day and it is really not attractive and it is something i think that women voters in particular find very unappealing, for both candidates when they are both going at each
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other like that, it muddies the facts and you are not getting any policy, not getting an answer and it is like boys scrapping in the school yard and it is not what you want to see in this kind of debate. >> rose: john dickerson what is the defense of the romney forces after the debate? >> well, i think the defense on the libya question which will be very interesting and it is the way these debates get scored by those who watch them and for those people on the libya question, romney came out on the short end, certainly for those who just watched the performance, but then, and then in the coming days, though, you can imagine romney saying, if he -- we may have lost audio there did we lose audio with john? am i back? >> yes, you are back. >> sorry. the romney campaign says i may have been wrong at the moment but the president was wrong on the policy and the more libya is discussed with daily disclosures about the mistakes that were made and the incorrect stories at the first, if that is the story that is being debated as the days go by, that is bad for
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the obama administration, so maybe a loss for romney in the 90 minutes but in the day to come probably not that bad for him. >> rose: albert, who took the economic argument tonight? >> well, again, i think the agenda was largely set by obama in stark contrast to several weeks ago and i think if you control the agenda, it really makes a huge difference. and it goes both on the economic issue and the other issues, chuck earlier talk about the contempt these two men feel for each other and i think that is totally accurate. i thought in denver obama just conveyed that throughout the 90 minutes. tonight, he did not, as much, despite the rawness that john heilemann described and i thought there were occasions where romney in contrast to denver really showed that more. on the economic issue, i think that the president scored points, talking about the 14 percent tax rate, i thought he did something he didn't do before, he talked about some of the problems, some of the tremendous gaps in the romney tax plan, and my guess is that
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to the extent the auto bailout is debated in ohio and other places that obama got the better of that. >> rose: jon. >> for what it is worth, my sense was anybody who tried -- any undecided voter trying to make sense out of either one was saying on the economy came away uned tied. >> rose: one said no that is not what i believe and then the other side yes, it is and off to the races. >> both, hard to see how undecided could pars that. >> rose: yes. chuck? who is that. >> look. just very quick. there was, there was not more engagement. they clearly wanted to on the bush question and i understand candy was trying to get to more questions, candy crawley, the moderator try to get to more questions but too easily slipped into their stump speeches, that was a big disappointment for me,
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probably the stump speech too much. >> rose: it was a bit to me as well, it is it was the fact they had all of these questions they had to get in and it was too much on the playbook and not enough of a natural ebb and flow that may have given us something very, very different, and every time i know you have to push that because you promised these people as well as you have got a whole range of subjects you want to cover, but in the end, you lose something in terms of spontaneity. mark halperin, tell me what social media is saying to you as you observe it. >> rose: the twitter world. >> mostly partisan. there is not -- people are upset about some of the harsh language and the fighting and the harshness. i think in the room the president won the debate. governor romney had one big vulnerability which is the ability of the president supporters to paint him as rich, out of touch, with policies that are not appealing to younger voters, to women, to hispanics, and all of those topics were adjudicated in a way i think work to the president's benefit in the room. the president has a big vulnerability which is he
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doesn't seem to be able to explain what his second term agenda would be like. how it would differ from what happened in the first four years that people were disappointed in, in the room the real estate won, it is out in the country, people are still waiting to hear what the president would do differently in a second term. i think that may be just as big eventually for how this debate is perceived but no doubt in the room, based on the questions that were chosen, based on governor romney's much less impressive performance than in denver, and i think in social media you will basically see a breakdown like that. people who are for the president will say governor romney was weak across-the-board, his tone was bad and he was bad with the groups he heeded to reach and i think republicans will say and they are saying, and i have not heard any democrat who i have talked to or e empty mailed about this to challenge it to say what did the president say that he would do in a second term? that is still a big vulnerability and like i said it may be our instant analysis of what happened in the room doesn't take that sufficiently into account. >> rose: chuck todd and john
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dickerson, chuck todd first, so what impact might this have in ohio? >> think, i think frankly it doesn't -- romney folks have clearly started to close the gap i think obama still has a small lead. i wouldn't call it significant anymore but when you talk, there is clearly a bit of an organizational edge and a small lead but i don't think romney lost any ground that he made up in his first debate victory and i think we are going to sort of turn now to a grinded out period, okay? you have hyperpart stance fired up, i assume the president's enthusiasm numbers will now top back up a little bit and get closer to republican levels but don't lose sight of that charlie, republican enthusiasm has been higher than democratic enthusiasm than even before romney's first debate and it got higher after the second debate. >> rose: yes, jon. >> in ohio, charlie, they wanted to hear the president talk about
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those things about governor romney raised doubts about him, be on the offense, because early voting is going on there, the guys who are working the ground in ohio want to be able to go to those doors, he got on those phones and had ammunition and the president gave them some ammunition tonight for the faithful, but i think as has been said the swing voters, particularly swing voter women's we will find how this sabicer fest and turn them off i think there were instances in the debate themselves they asked about gas prices and basically neither of the two candidate answered the question about gas prices very well, there were times where you lost track of what the actual question was being asked for those undecided voters i think they are still stuck to the extent this race was moving in romney's direction that slide has stopped but to to the extent this race used to be stuck in the middle, both candidates very close in the cbs poll of undecides afterward it was basically a third, a third, a third in terms of who won the debate, the preexisting condition where romney does better on who can get disrobs, but obama does better on who cares about the middle class,
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that was duplicated in the instance poll afterwards. that feels like the condition we were in three months ago before we had this up and down of the convention and the denver debate. >> rose: katty kay. >> charlie, neither of the men had one of those moments during the course of the debate where they really responded to whoever was asking the question. it was striking that the white house was saying before this debate that they were very conscious, that the president had to be able to combine an attack of mitt romney's policies with also answering the voters' questions and they ha had to actually relate t to to what the voter was asking. i didn't see obama or romney really responding directly and clearly to whatever the question was that was being asked. you asked the point about ohio, i do wonder whether there is one area that came up at the end, in this issue of china, i don't know if most voters really understand the disbri a sister
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of what a currency manipulator does or doesn't do but there is something there in the romney campaign that appeals i think at an emotional level to white-collar workers in states like ohio who might feel that somehow through unfair play that jobs have been taken away from them and looking for somebody to blame and that somebody is china, and i think that was quite an effective moment for romney to reach out zero to those voters on not necessarily a policy level and i don't think the policy necessarily makes sense and as barack obama said calling china a currency manipulator, i think on a political level there is an appeal that to working class voters particularly those who have lost manufacturing jobs. >> rose: john heilemann tell me where the race is after the debate. >> charlie -- >> rose: yes. >> -- well i think, look, i think the race, we are back even. i mean it is a jump ball election, it is going to be very, very close, it was going to be -- i felt like until there has been one month of this last
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two years where i thought the race looked like it was starting to get to the point where it might not get close where barack obama might win by four points and get 350 electorial votes and that was the month of september, since then, back to denver it is what i thought it would be like for the whole rest of the election which is going to be extremely close, the president has certain advantages, demographic and in terms of the map that he still maintains those and he got himself back in the ring in this race and in this debate. i think if you want to -- this is going to sound like i am damning governor romney with praise, but i don't mean it this way, his biggest accomplishment to my mind tonight was not committing some horrible faux pas, when you are dealing with, and something katty mentioned it is disappointing they didn't deal with much relating to the human beings in the audience, i think governor romney, the biggest risk for him, given his history of not relating to actual human beings all that well, his biggest risk he would have some kind of bad moment in terms of trying to empathize or
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be human with people in the room for reasons he avoided doing, although his first answer when he spoke directly to the first questioner was actually i think his best answer of the night he did that quite well there, and then managed to avoid screwing up in any other way. what i think president obama mostly achieved in the same way that governor romney and denver achieved looking like an acceptable alternative, president obama did something incredibly important tonight and i think he answered a question that everyone has been asking on the left, in the center, across the spectrum since denver which is does this guy actually want this job? is he willing to fight for this job? and one of the things that presiden pea cln showed us over and over again is that voters, and especially working class voters, middle class voters they like the idea of a president who gets up every day and fight for them and works on their behalf and part of the problem with denver for barack obama if he is not willing to fight for himself how can we as voters think he is willing to fight for us? tonight the president fought for himself and he hooked like a fighter and i
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think that at least reassures people who had some questions about like does this guy who gave a not great convention speech in charlotte and gave a horrible debate performance in denver does he really care enough about this job to really make a formal, full throated application for it, i think he did that tonight. >> rose: chuck we talked about a lot of things this evening, i know you have to go, but as we go forward, i mean is there one clear distinction, you saw both candidates at the end trying to correct misconceptions, obama wanted to make clear that he believed in free enterprise, he was not, not by government as romney would have him defined as, as they go forward, what is the big issue that separates them? >> i think it is a pretty clear distinction on where taxes are going, right? it is a pretty clear distinction on where the government's relationship with the healthcare industry is going, and that is where the big distinction is, i want to pick up on a point that katty made about china, it is interesting to me that essentially if this
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is a battle for ohio or battle for the working class midwestern voter, and they are looking, and each campaign is trying to hand this person, these populists someone to blame, the obama campaign has been trying to hand them mitt romney to blame, it is people like him, it is big business, it is hedge fund guys, it is these bain guys that sent your jobs to china. and what romney has been trying to hand them, no, no, no, it is china. her to blame. and ultimately you sort of sit there and say you know what? who wins that argument in, right? who successful any is able to say, who successfully can win in argument where sort of this working class, you know, mid fifties white guy in ohio who loves watching ohio state football on the big ten network and says, you know, is this town no longer a factory town because some guy like mitt romney on wall street shut us down for parts or is this town not a good factory town because china has been stealing my jobs? and what
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that guy thinks when he gets in that voting booth on that particular issue will tell white house wins high owe. >> rose: and what about the auto bailout argument made by romney tonight? >> >> look, he has struggled with this issue since the beginning, you know, he got hurt by the fact that that let detroit go bankrupt headline was not his headline, it is something he has had to, some crow he had to eat not crow he made on his own. look, he has not been able to answer that question well. he has tried it different ways, right? the one answer i thought was his most effective is, hey, eventually the president got it right, what he did at first i wasn't for but the managed bankruptcy was the way to go, he struggled there but when he tried to agree with the president too much, a couple of months ago, then i think he got some heat and said, no, no, no don't forget the delphi workers in ohio who said their pensions got basically taken away by the auto deal. >> rose: chuck, i know you have to go, thank you so much,
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go ahead. >> i thought romney's strongest answer was the answer where he said obama promised the economy would be much better and it is not. >> rose: i did too. >> and then he had that nice, staring line and the difference between those two unemployment rates i think the number was 9 million, it is 9 million americans, and that is his strongest case, which is obama said the economy would be better than it is. obama has no great answer to that question. romney's vulnerable there is twofold, one, he isn't the best messenger of that argument. >> rose: right. >> he is not the bill clinton who feels like the next, guy next door and not even george w. bush who wasn't the guy next door but felt a little like the guy next door, romney doesn't, and there are big ways in which his policies are similar to the bush administration. they are not identical but amazing ways in which they are similar, it is not an accident that two of bush's top economic irs stores are romney's as well. and so romney has a pretty good
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indictment of obama on it, but he doesn't have nearly as good a clothes on it and even in ohio where the economy picked up a little bit that is the signature issue and that's the tissue chuck was getting at, who do people blame for in? romney can help make the case against obama but he has a much harder time making the case for himself. >> rose: john dickerson, what does romney do coming out of this debate? >> i think what he does coming out of this, focus on the fact that the president had no, didn't talk much about new ideas for the next four years, his idea is this president is basically tired and run out of gas, and that was basically demonstrated in his performance in the first debate, the president's performance, it sort of matched the romney narrative so the narrative now is, well, he can attack me but he attacks me because we don't have any plans and we heard that line a thousand times from paul ryan so i think that is his argument coming out of this, he didn't have, with the exception of libya, any big stumbles or
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things that could be considered stumbles he didn't take advantage of his moment to connect with voters, he told a couple of stories, he talked a lot more about his massachusetts record than we have heard certainly earlier in the campaign, that was effort to show the connectivity with voters. i thought one thing about the real estate, this is kind of a bit of theatre review but much lighter on his feet than romney, joking here and there, joking act highways his pension wasn't as big as romney's, a man confident in the way he talked about the libya answer i am commander in chief and you can be confident in that way but also be competent when you are having a little fun, that said investor romney would never go into a deal based on the mathematics of romney the candidate, i think that was a sense of confidence for those watching that con strays maybe in a way that they don't necessarily pick up on but that suggested the real estate was much more comfortable person on this stage than before. >> rose: al, of romney and the president are going to get away as they have been without being more specific in terms of what
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the president would do in the next four years, if he wins reelection, what romney might do with respect to deductions. >> well, i think they both intend to do that based on what we saw tonight, you know, picking up on what i guess i don't know said earlier, peter heart the great demographic pollster did a great focus group in ohio of state your name nights a lot of women, suburbanites and he said these people are torn by this choice .. and what they are looking for is people who will best bet the economy moving and fight for them, i think obama did well on the whater but he didn't do so well on the former and i think based on what we have seen so far there is little reason to make change over the next few weeks, i think katty's point about women really was a good one and it will be interesting to see if those changes in the polls on women voters, if that is altered by tonight but kattyly a assured, assure you one of thing, romney is no don draper, we assure you of that.
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>> he certainly doesn't drink as much as don draper. >> or do other things. >> rose: all right. let me raise this question. i thought the president would talk more about what he perceived to be, what some people perceived to be a change in the economic outlook and trending up. he doesn't seem to go to that, as i expect he might. anybody? >> charlie, some democrats industry spoken to during the course of today were actually worried he might speak about that too much. >> rose: ah. >> they -- the obama campaign has an ad out in the morning, at the moment, the one rated by morgan freeman where they talk about the improvements and they talk about the auto industry booming again, one democrat said he has to be careful on this one he can't go into the debate and look like he is out of touch of americans who are still going through hard times and actually some of the numbers we have seen are kind of leading indicators it takes a while for people to feel those kinds of indicators around their kitchen tables, in their pocketbooks and they were
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worried and actually one point during the course of the debate when barac barack obama, i can't remember what the question was but asked about some economic issue and he outlaid all of the improvements that had happened and i thought well that is interesting because it is exactly what some democrats don't want him to be doing, he still has got to show people that he is aware, show some humility that he knows how bad things are and again to the point about what he would do over the next four years, then lay out the plan for how he is going to improve it. it is interesting when you speak to the white house's economic teams they are very clear about this, they have four very clear points, they are going to do taxes and entitlements and do infrastructure and they want to do energy and they want to do immigration. it is a very clear plan they have for the next four years in terms of economic policy but you don't really hear it from barack obama himself either tonight, in the town hall or clearly, not as clearly put as that and certainly not in denver. >> rose: jon. >> >> rose: go to something. >> go to something al was
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saying, one reassuring thing that came out of this, at least there is moderate self-awareness on the part of both men, i thought probably the most interesting question, not a, not a lot in politicians or journalists to be sure. >> rose: introspection? >> self-awareness. >> when she they said wha what s the miss per extension about you and when george w. bush anything he would do differently he said, i will get back to you in a week but i thought both of them actually hit it right. obama basically said i am not a socialist and romney basically said i am not a clueless rich guy who never met anyone in pain and it made me think that this goes to something that mark and jon were saying, i think the next three weeks are going to be hard, hard fought because i think these guys, both see -- they see these things as a 360-degree way, in a way that became clear tore me tonight than it had been in a while. >> rose: we are focusing on the debate where is paid advertising and where is it making a difference?
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>> the. >> ohio. (laughter.) >> is it affecting the numbers, though, in ohio? >> or was the debate -- >> well, i mean, so the question is why has obama seemed to be doing better in ohio than you would expect based on where he has been doing nationally so far, and i think part of that answer is likely to be there is no smoking gun but part of that answer is likely to be high owe is where they have hit romney the hardest on bain, on romney, the person, and on the auto bailout and i think that suggests that some of the advertising has had some common effect for the obama team. >> i have a slightly different view on that, charlie that romney has significantly closed the gap in ohio, i think it is almost even in ohio right now, i think it has much less to do with the advertising than what they call the free media, the free media is us. >> rose: yes. >> and my coverage over the last ten days has been decidely in romney's favor because he did so well in that previous debate i
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think that is what is slightly changing things in ohio and slight matters in in race. >> rose: okay. mark halperin, tell me about states now, obviously i mentioned ohio and i mentioned virginia, i mentioned florida, but is there anything not in play or beginning to be in play what does the map look like? >> well, the map i think right now hinges almost completely on ohio, i think governor romney must win there as you know, they are not a tossup they must win the three southern ones, most certainly, must win florida and south carolina and there, there is a if he lieus though three, if he get ohio he only needs one. of the remaining 5. if he doesn't get ohio, he needs some combination of almost all of the rest of the five, and right now, nevada looks very hard for him, so it is really four. so ohio is to some extent, again, even if governor romney win the three southern states, ohio is the ball game, if gulf of mexico i don't have any, if
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governor romney wins ohio he wins the pie. >> if he loses it makes it virtually impossible for governor romney to win. >> and charlie if you want to get in the weed a little bit more about this. >> rose: i do. >> one thing about the obama campaign on one massive level the obama campaign kind of knows that it is probably going to lose florida, but it has enough money to keep governor romney having to spend money in florida in order to win florida, and so they kind of -- as you said, they will never say this publicly but i think they recognize they probably will end up losing florida and wind up losing north carolina but if they can make governor romney spend a bunch of resources in those states, it gives him a better chance to be able to do what they need to do in ohio, where they have had this advantage, even if it has narrowed down and in virginia which is really a tossup state, the as state of surprisingly large percentage of hispanics, eight or nine percent hispanic in virginia and helps president
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obama, the economy is doing pretty well there, that helps president obama, the big hold on, if they can hold on to virginia, however narrowly and hold on to ohio the race is basically over and they can run, this always has been their advantage is they have, they can give up a lot of states they lost in 2008 and they have enough money and been raising money at an incredible furious clip, the financial parody a lot people thought the romney campaign and super packs would over run the obama campaign, the obama campaign raised money in a furious clip and has enough money to be able to play that game with them, with the math you can play when you have the advantage that they have, which is to spend money in states that you ultimately don't think you are going to win, and don't really need to win in order to stretch the other side so thin that it makes it hard for them to do what they need to to to get --. one other element, which is the last the last debate is supposed to be only only on foreign policy i think it switched to the fiscal cliff, i don't think i will win that argument, because foreign policy
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is the biggest issue governor romney had i think he squandered tonight and come up in the next debate i think he really, he has really booted that so badly i am not sure he can score on it, the last debate i can't see how that effect it is race, if it is about strong moments of leadership obama will be well prepared, the question is on the next three weeks, romney is still behind and he is, what opportunities does he have? i think the advertising cancel each other out, it is about the free media and al smith dinner that will be interesting to insiders but i don't think it will change the race, governor romney has to find a way, maybe an economic speech, something, to do something big now and again i don't think he can rely on the last debate on foreign policy to make it happen. >> rose: john dickerson, what is the referendum in ohio about? >> what is the -- who is going to take care -- who is going to make the future better and, you know, one of the things is that the president's -- one of his other ads that is running like the morgan freeman ads which he
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talks about the economy getting better, the woman says the parking lot used to be empty and it is full now, another woman talks about adding another shift in ohio, they are adding in ohio they are adding new shifts to the lords plans plants and seeing improvements and that's the place although that ad is not actually running in ohio but a state where the president has been consistently saying that things i have done have changed your life, the auto bailout being of course the primary one, and so he can say, tentatively and they are making this gentle pivot, to arguing whereas before they never let a second between saying anything good about the economy and then they would say but we know things are bad. now they are at least bet ago little bit on the fact that people are feeling a little bit better. and that is the question in ohio and romney's of course will be whether this guy is just tired and whether i can squeeze more out of this economy than the sort of tepid growth that we have had before, one other point i would say about the map for romney, talking to advisors and who have been through these races before, we have had a big
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discussion about polls and whether polls are real and the samples are right and how it is hard to reach anybody and you only get a ten percent response rate, what happens in the campaigns is, they have to make serious decisions on how things are going in these various states, allocate resources based on the reading of their own polls and they can jump at shadows and jump at things may be look good for them in the end the fundamentals can't sustain and as they make these discussion decisions about florida and as i don't know is pointing out the obama campaign trying to make them put effort into florida just to tie them down there, that is a difficult balance for them in this situation where everything is so tight and when the polls are so hard to read. into so what about the restauranted super pac money? what has happened to that? i think in talking to people in the battle ground states i think it is a wash, there just has been all of this deluge on the air and that has kind of, it just cancels itself out and that that is, and then the question is, what about the super pac money going into the ground game
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and i am not sure what the answer is to that, more of it has been spent on the air. >> rose: david leonhardt, what could be a bold move by either of these candidates in the time remaining? >> well get more specific about what they. do you have heard from several people on the panel tonight say that obama hasn't talked about what he would do in a second term and while it is true if you go through the white papers you can sort of, kind of sort out what he can do that is different from a president saying this is what way tonight with do in a second term. i want your approval of this, and then i am going to go out and do it. now i think there are reasons why obama is not doing it, i think he knows that will sound hollow because he promised so much the first time and didn't deliver, but the fact is he is not doing it and that will make it harder for him to get things done in the second term and likewise with romney, i mean we just don't know what he would do on this tax plan because the plan he laid outdoesn't add up it really doesn't, which is he going to give? give on deficit or the tax cuts? what is he going to do? i don't expect that necessarily but that would
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be bold. and then just one other point witwhich is i love the idea of mark's idea of devoting part so some of the last debate too the fiscal cliff that is a real big deal the win her have a human impact on and it doesn't matter so much if obama has an agenda or romney gets specific the fact is that is something they will have to deal with the very first moments -- >> rose: i mean is there a way for these two candidates to talk about a fiscal cliff, katty? or is she gone? >> charlie, briefly, i guess this way they could bring it up is in terms of europe, i mean, whether financial markets could round on america if politicians can't only to some sort of agreement over the fiscal cliff, we know the white house is very worried about what is happening in the euro crisis, that would be a way to segue into the fiscal cliff, but it is clearly not there delineated during the course of the debate as the subject and mark and david are quite right it needs -- it is the single business thing when you talk to business leaders
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they are not worried about the election but november the 11th and what happens with that cliff. >> rose: do we know -- yes. >> i think there are two really fascinating economic conun drums here. on the obama side i think he has to be very careful in saying things are getting better when you have the unemployment rate you have in north carolina and nevada and florida, you really can antagonize people when you say things are getting better. >> bill clinton did it great and president obama has to be careful a and in the two key states enumerated earlier, virginia and ohio you have republican governors both of whom have national ambitions saying both are things getting better here and a lot better and you have the republican presidential candidate coming in and saying boy are things terrible and i think that is a mixed message that poses some problems for romney. >> rose: do governors help in these states, does the governor help in ohio? does mcdonnell help in virginia? >> anybody?
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>> it is a mixed bag. >> rose: john? >> in ohio, hey, he has said, there was one scene earlier a few months ago where they were at the joint event and talking about how great the economic economy was and romney was sitting there and saying, you know, ix-nay on the economy getting better. and there is also part of the argument in ohio why things are going better for the president is kasich's attack on the unions, a bit of an over step on him and antagonize add group and put it in play for democrats, groups that sort of the blue collar, white man who have not earn, are not in play for democrats, they lose them, but shrunk romney's chances with that group, now, that is longstanding argument because romney has some at this advertise with that group of voters just on his own, but cass sick, kasich there are some commissions there, mcdonnell helps the republicans with the, he was part of the ground game in virginia is what the
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republicans think is the best all over the country and the mcdonald victory in virginia gave that ground game a real test and particularly in northern virginia for republicans and so in that way the fact that he won his race was very helpful for rebuilding the ground game in virginia they are using all of those models against president obama now. >> rose: okay. so i end up with this question and somebody help me. so coming out of this debate, what is going to be different tomorrow and the next day and the next day between now and the next debate? >> >> the story -- i think the story changes from what is wrong with obama to which of these guys do we really want to trust with -- and -- >> rose: which of these guys give us evidence as to how we ought to make a decision? >> nobody is going to give us evidence, i mean they are not going to, because it is ultimately. >> rose: it is risky? >> it is risky, so they are both going to run out the, run out of
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the clock. >> rose: why not say, al, this is what we are going to do. >> i thought months ago obama should have embraced bowles-simpson, they made a calculation that would be crazy and take away the entitlement issue, i thought they would put romney on the defense, they disagree with that, having made that decision, i don't think anything is going to change. >> here is why it is risky, charlie, americans are not in favor of tax increases and not in favor of spending cuts and as a result, if you come out with a deficit plan, you are going to anger voters. >> rose: and that's the way politics work. >> that's the way politics work. >> rose: al hunt, thank you very much, david, thank you very much, katty kay had to leave us, jon meacham here with us in new york. >> mark halperin thanks for staying with us, and my friend from cbs, thank you, and chuck todd who left a few minutes earlier, i thank all of you, it is fascinating. >> thank you, charlie. >> and the game continues, what would thomas jefferson say? i have a minute to vamp here.
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have a new biography, is this anything different than jefferson saw. >> he ran the first contested race in mean seven, 1776 and they had super pac ads this then. >> what did you learn new about jefferson. >> i learned he was a politician who understood the art of pragmatism. >> rose: that sound like barack obama. >> tall, cool, cerebral, very good politician, who doesn't really want to admit that he likes politics, but it is policy -- until we come up with a better system for working these things out, we have got to have skilled practitioners of the craft, and whatever we think about who won and who lost, we had two skilled practitioners,. >> rose: i thank all of you very much, it has been an exciting time and exciting debate. and we will be back on tuesday night for the next debate. have a nice evening. see you tomorrow.
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